As the Denver housing market continues to remain a pipe dream for a vast majority of the City’s residents, the need for affordable for-sale homeownership opportunities is critical. Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) has long recognized the importance of the community land trust (CLT) model as a way to provide long term community benefit for future generations. ULC began incorporating the CLT model into our real estate acquisitions first in 2007 with the Jody Apartments, 62 units of permanently affordable housing adjacent to the Sheridan Light Rail Station on RTD’s W Line. Today, ULC maintains a diverse portfolio of affordable rental and nonprofit facility spaces in our growing CLT.
Earlier this week, The Denver Post highlighted the growing popularity of community land trusts due to their ability to provide individuals and families earning (typically) at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI) with affordable homeownership opportunities. The article featured both Colorado Community Land Trust and Elevation Community Land Trust for their roles as pioneers in the Denver region. The Post highlighted multiple community land trust homeowners, including LaDios Muhammad:
“LaDios Muhammad signed a $168,000 mortgage two years ago for a home she says now appraises for $440,000 in the Colorado Community Land Trust’s Solis Townhomes development in Cole.
She went from renting a two-bedroom, one-bath apartment for $1,150 per month in Park Hill to owning a tri-level, three-bed, 2.5-bath townhouse with an unfinished basement. All told, her monthly payments including her land lease are $1,170 , she said. Working as an executive assistant in the solar industry and a TV and film actor, Muhammad is now living comfortably in a house with solar power and efficient appliances, things she values.
‘The beautiful thing is once you’ve closed on your loan, you can make as much money as you want,’ Muhammad said. ‘You can better yourself. ‘
Getting into the Solis development also allowed Muhammad to live where she wanted to live: the 80205 ZIP code, a section of northeast Denver she has called home for much of the past 30 years. Covering the Cole, Whittier and portions of Five Points and other Denver neighborhood, the ZIP code has seen rapid gentrification over the past few decades. Muhammad lays much of that at the feet of developers focusing on luxury housing well beyond the reach of many people in Denver.
‘I don’t think gentrification is necessarily bad. I’m all for improving the neighborhood. I think it’s not good when people can’t afford to live in the neighborhood,’ she said.”
To read the Denver Post article in full, visit the link here.